Workplace Violence Against Nurses? Doesn’t it sound new to you? It is true that nurses have the most significant risk of workplace violence due to their close interaction with patients and the nature of their employment.
A survey proves that in April 2022 alone, 92 percentof healthcare employees reported violence in their workplace. The case is prominent in most clinical settings including hospitals, outpatient clinics, labs, nursing homes, and home health settings. This blog discusses the same. While discussing the workplace violence against nurses, we also bring references from RCN to discuss how to reduce the same.
Exposure to workplace violence in the healthcare - a common scenario
Hospital nurses are the most likely of all healthcare workers to be subjected to workplace violence, both physical or verbal. The case is evident with 96 percent of them reporting at least an incident in the previous month, says the percept survey.
Four out of every five hospital nurses have had to call a coworker or security because they feel unsafe, which is twice as many as other workers. The frequency of occurrences is significantly higher for this group.
Even though male and female health workers are equally likely to have been involved in the violent events, women among them are 20% more likely to have had an event that necessitated the assistance of security or another colleague. The workplace violence against nurses statistics prove the same.
Prevention and management of workplace violence against healthcare workers
Although the RCN recognizes that devolved nations and their governments may adopt different methods to address work-related violence, it has established the following essential principles that should underpin any national approaches to the prevention and management of work-related violence.
Workplace violence in the health and social care sectors can have a variety of causes. Therefore the prevention and mitigation strategies must be adjusted to each type of environment and nurses’ group.
Employing a sufficient number of nurses and midwives with the necessary skills and expertise should be at the forefront of the prevention and mitigation of workplace violence.
Nurses and the healthcare setting should communicate and cooperate together to identify hazards and take steps to prevent workplace violence.
The number of physical assaults and harassment against nurses and midwifery staff should be compiled and analysed in terms of the protected characteristics of those assaulted, such as sexual orientation, disability, race, and religion.
There is a need for more research into what efforts succeed in terms of preventing and reducing violence. This is especially crucial as new technology emerges, such as body-worn cameras.
When it comes to minimising the danger of violence, training can be extremely beneficial. Personal safety training for lone workers should be included as part of the risk assessment and should be tailored to the dangers experienced.
When accidents happen, they should be investigated, and risk assessments should be assessed to see if any additional steps are required to reduce the chance of reoccurrence.
Employers must have measures in place to support nursing and midwifery workers who are in imminent fear of physical violence and who are able to take prompt steps to reduce the risk of assault, such as withdrawing to a safe location and calling for backup.
Employers must make incident reporting processes accessible and transparent to all nursing and midwifery employees, including those who work in third-party facilities or in the community.
Nursing and midwifery employees have a legal obligation to report workplace violence to their employer and, if required, the police.
Employers have a responsibility to care for their employees in the aftermath of an assault by providing prompt and effective post-incident support.
Incidents of both verbal and physical abuse should be dealt with on an organisational level, with prompt feedback given to the victimized employee on what steps were taken to prevent a recurrence.
Some other support may include immediate guidance on what to do, access to counseling services, and longer-term assistance and advice in pursuing a legal claim or, if available, an NHS injury benefit.
Summary - A step up against workplace violence
Surveys still prove that assaults on nursing staff are still common, and there are still a number of flaws in how these instances are handled. While there has been some progress in terms of the work-related violence Acts in England, Wales, and Scotland, Governments and health and social care employers must prioritise the prevention of assaults on nursing and midwifery personnel.
Working with responsible NHS-friendly temporary nurses’ recruiters can help solve this problem. Such recruiters can support their employee’s mental health, prevent repeat incidences, and seek justice for them. JP Medicals is one such leading NHS recruitment agency that works keeping in mind nurses’ safety in mind. Contact us to join our community.
1. Which type of violence is most commonly directed towards nurses?
In healthcare settings, the most common form of violence that is directed toward nurses are physical, emotional, and verbal. Of them, verbal abuse is the most common and has the greatest impact on nurses’ emotional strength.
2. What is Lateral violence in nursing?
Lateral violence (LV) is a big concern in the field of nursing. It is an intentional and damaging action displayed in the workplace and can have numerous negative impacts on the work atmosphere and the nurse’s ability to provide the best possible patient care.
3. What are workplace violence examples?
Direct physical assaults (with or without weapons), written or verbal threats, physical or verbal harassment, and homicide are all examples of workplace violence. Sometimes nurses even suffer emotional discomfort and bodily injury as a result of workplace aggression, which can lead to permanent disability or death.
4. How can we prevent workplace violence against nurses?
Organizations should adopt a zero-tolerance policy for instances of hostility and enable nurses to speak up without fear of punishment in order to achieve constructive change. They should enforce and decrease horizontal violence, and establish explicit policies, procedures, expectations, and consequences.